By Ravi Ramakrishnan and Loveleen Gaur
According to Frank Riddick, “Smart manufacturing is a data intensive application of information technology at the shop floor level and above to enable intelligent, efficient, and responsive operations.”
Smart manufacturing involves use of a myriad of technologies like big data, predictive analytics, and virtualized process modeling and simulation to create value from data by streamlining data and factory operations (Ransome, 2016).
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Advantages of Smart Manufacturing
Among other benefits, smart manufacturing and IoT-enabled machines can be used to influence the supply chain, growth, safety and technological advancement.
Smart manufacturing incorporates many advanced digital technologies such as robotic arms, automated conveyor belts, contactless transmission and receiving using RFID, Bluetooth, or related technologies, connected supply chain networks with end-to-end visibility of the supply chain from initial raw material provider to the end consumer, and the focus on human-machine collaborative coexistence.
Supply Chain Management
Factories stand to benefit with the Internet of Things (IoT) from operations optimization, predictive monitoring, inventory optimization, and health benefits. With the IoT, many car manufacturers like BMW and Toyota are integrating the full supply chain to identify all supplier parts, going inside the assembly of a car and, thereby, reducing defects and recalls. The IoT can be used to a get a single 360° view of what components are getting deployed where at every point of production. The IoT-enabled products can also be provisioned or deprovisioned on demand and can help introduce new business models totally different from the earlier physical product sales, thereby introducing diversification and competitive advantage based on digital models
Smart manufacturing can power strategic growth through sustainable means using renewable forms of energy and recycling using a converged approach involving humans, machines, data, products, and digitization. The IoT applications in manufacturing can provide easy-to-recognize high-RoI applications like preventive maintenance or emission controls and energy conservation that can be measured under key indicators such as reduce costly downtimes, improve productivity and reduce unit cost of production, help simulate newer business models, improve and convert marketing opportunity, regulatory compliances, and improve operating margins.